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Grande Prairie recreation facilities adopting Restrictions Exemption Program

Starting Monday, proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a recent negative test result, or documentation of medical exemption will be required at a number of City of Grande Prairie recreation facilities. These include the Eastlink Centre, the Coca Cola Centre, the Bonnetts Energy Centre, and the Dave Barr Community Centre for anyone aged 12 and up unless they are within a youth user group.

In a press release Friday evening, the City of Grande Prairie confirmed it will be taking part in the province’s Restrictions Exemption Program as a measure to ensure the health and safety of City staff, customers, and the community. The changes will go into effect next week, but it’s noted that there will be some flexibility over the first week due to a significant backlog for people accessing their proof of vaccination through Alberta Health Services.

“The City asks for patience and understanding towards staff as we navigate through these new Provincial measures to do our part for the community,” the release includes, adding people should plan to arrive earlier than normal for the extra step of reviewing documentation.

The city is also encouraging people to create an online registration account on its website to make it easier to check in to the affected facilities. Starting Monday, the account will allow those registered to upload relevant documents so they won’t have to show proof at each facility entrance unless the information becomes outdated.

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The Alberta government announced Wednesday that it would be bringing in new restrictions for several industries as of September 20th. To be exempt, businesses could choose to put in place a program checking patrons for government-issued proof of vaccination or a recent negative privately purchased COVID-19 test.

Proof of partial vaccination with one dose will be accepted from September 20th to October 25th if received two weeks beforehand and full vaccination with two doses will be required after October 25th. Otherwise, proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of service will be required, with tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories not allowed, or documentation of a medical exemption will be required.

Since the announcement, the uptake for vaccination bookings in Alberta increased by 189 per cent, from 9,750 doses Wednesday to 28,158 doses Thursday. That’s the most completed in one day since mid-July.

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